Sunday 17 February 2013

Interview with UK Burlesque Performer Khandie Khisses!

Interview with UK Burlesque Performer Khandie Khisses!
Photo by Haley Richardson
You have all seen my first interview with burlesque performer Lena Mae. That was first of many interviews I have lined up for you from fabulous performers across the country. I would like to introduce you to Khandie Khisses. Personally to me she is a very inspirational lady, very confident and talented.
Dubbed ‘Queen of Burlesque’ by numerous publications and voted regularly into the Top Stars of Burlesque in World (2009, 2010 , 2011 and 2012 consecutively), Khandie Khisses is the unstoppable tornado whose talents far exceed that of her burlesque skills. She is already an accomplished DJ, MC and model, but more recently completed her first major film role. A true superstar in the making whose global reputation as a highly professional and talented artiste is building rapidly.
Previously serving in the Royal Air Force, Khandie’s ability to captivate audiences with her riotous and spectacular routines has drawn a following worldwide as her reputation continues to sky rocket. Appearances by invitation at the Australian Burlesque (and subsequent 12 day tour), Paris Burlesque and British Science Festivals, not to mention numerous show stopping, audience captivating performances cross the globe, have seen her step out from the ranks and cement her place in the limelight.
A confident speaker Khandie has been asked to speak about her profession and lifestyle by invitation for a variety of audiences such as the WI, BBC radio and East Side Radio in Australia. Her regular columns for various publications have been referenced and shared world wide. She also regularly contributes to 21st Century Burlesque,, as well as being the UK correspondent for Pinup America with regular guest spots on their live TV show.
Khandie challenges media stereotypes with her voluptuous figure and sparkling smile, making her an asset to any stage and the words on everybody’s lips.
Khandie is both Equity registered and agency represented by Spirit Model Management and Burlesque Baby. For more info check out her website

Copyright Nils Bratby
How did you get into the burlesque industry?

I was in the military doing some stand-up comedy classes as hobby. Eventually this lead on to actually gigging which was great until one day another performer didn’t show. We were all asked to extend our acts but most were unable to so instead I thought a comedy skit based on drunk women dancing was the answer. I did it…they loved it. I kept doing it and before long someone suggested I look at burlesque. I did and started creating my routines.
How did the name Khandie Khisses come about and what does it mean to you?
I was originally called Morning Glory but...well…that’s hardly appropriate for burlesque (at least my grandparents thought) so I rather crassly asked a burlesque social networking site to name me. A lady known on there as Broomstick Pilot named me Khandie Khisses. I love it. It’s different but rolls off the tongue easily. Ha! Sorry.
Do you have a favourite routine/performance?
No. I love them all. When I fall out of love with them, I take them off my repertoire or rework them until I do. I don’t like to keep acts I no longer connect to.
You are on stage and being photographed a lot of the time. Looking after yourself must play a big part in your life. What are you favourite beauty products and why?
I have started to look after myself a bit more. I lost a fair amount of weight and I want to maintain it so boxing is back in my exercise routine as is running. My favourite beauty product is Vitamin E oil introduced into my life thanks to another performer. I cover my body in it after a bath. I tend not to use fussy products with too many chemicals as my skin is highly sensitive. I love coconut oil as a hair conditioner and my MUA eyebrow pencil. It’s amazing!!!
Do you have a set beauty routine?
Yes…moisturise, moisturise and moisturise. I never sleep in my makeup and a face mask once a week.
You really inspire women for flying the flag for the more shapely women; you come across so confident and strong. What advice would you give to those women who look up to you?
I used to be rather slim as I was a cross country runner and I have to say I felt just as confident then as I do now I am a larger size. Yes I have lost weight recently (heartbreak can do that to a gal) but I have no intention of losing my plus size shape. Being larger is not a bad thing. I could tell you to lose weight to be healthier etc but I am not your doctor or your mother. It is not my business to judge others. I haven’t walked a mile in your shoes. I think if you can’t look at yourself naked without loving at least some of what you see in the mirror then work on your mental state, not your weight. In this day and age we seem to be so aesthetically driven we forget underneath it all we need to really be working on what lies in our minds. I love that I am plus size but I love more that I am a confident woman who loves how she is right now. It is that, that is more important to me. Weight is a number, your outlook on life and you is more important.
On that note how to you keep yourself in shape for your performances?
I tend to be high energy on stage so I need to ensure I can deliver that every performance. My fitness routine has stepped up a gear so I attend boxing classes once a week, spar every two and run regularly. I always stretch and am starting swim a lot more. I want to stay curvy and stay a plus size (over a size 12 is classed as plus size in the modeling world) so it is all in moderation.
Describe your fashion style?
Messed up. From boho to vintage geek. I like to really mix it up. I often see burlesque performers rocking a very vintage look which is great but I like to change it up a bit. Pinup can often be a little to twee for me at times.
Where are you favourite places to shop?
Charity shops, online and Kitsch Me Kwik in High Wycombe.
What are your 3 must have pieces of make up?
Eyeliner, mascara and most importantly eyebrow pencil. So many people forget to perfect their brows. They frame the face!.
What do you like to do with your time off from being Khandie Khisses?
I fly (no I really do), walk my pup and take photographs. I also write and love watching old movies. I hang out with friends and sometimes pretend to sing. Usual ra-ra to be honest.
Who is your favourite burlesque performer to watch?
Dirty Martini and Kitten Deville. Oh and Lillian Starr. I am in love with their energy, their enthusiasm and their bad ass approach to working a stage.
Who are your biggest inspirations and why?
Egotistical to say but, me. I came from being horrendously bullied, through terrible injuries and awful relationships to still be cool with who I am. Outside of that Mae West for her attitude towards gay rights, segregation and censorship. I also adore Dirty Martini and Jo Weldon for being so supportive of people in burlesque and the community.
What advice would you give to a girl reading this interested in getting into this industry? 
Research, see shows, attend classes and don’t be a twat. No one wants to work with a muppet (well I mean besides Kermit and Miss Piggy). Get to know where burlesque has been and come from to understand where it is going.
Photo by Khandie Kisses
Make sure you check out Khandie’s website or follow her on her Facebook fan page!/misskhandiekhisses?fref=ts
Thank you to Khandie for her time with this interview. I will again be interviewing more burlesque performers so stay tuned for these in the near future!

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